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Winter 2021 - Critical Care

Enduring a Persistent Pandemic and Preparing for the Next

Patrick M. SchmidtIT’S ALMOST a year since the pandemic first began ravaging the U.S., leaving healthcare providers grappling with how to care for the millions of Americans who have contracted the coronavirus. Still, scientists do not fully understand how to prevent or treat It. What’s more, the healthcare industry is challenged to reframe how it conducts operations to meet the health and safety needs of patients while keeping its businesses afloat.

Clearly, there will be no return to business as normal as we knew it. As we outline in our article “How COVID-19 Is Changing the Future of Healthcare” (p.18), the pandemic has introduced significant scientific, clinical and financial challenges. For starters, the lack of personal protective equipment has shifted medical facilities’ priority toward supply chain optimization and analytics to prepare for future scenarios. In addition, the reduction in visitation rates and elective procedures has dramatically decreased healthcare spending, prompting providers to reevaluate how to improve healthcare efficiency. 

Now, with a second wave of the coronavirus sweeping across the nation, people remain anxious about when scientists will find effective preventive and treatment strategies. Taking a promising place among treatments being investigated as pre-existing therapeutic options are plasma therapies. To shed some light on the three types of plasma therapies — intravenous immune globulin, convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulins — our article “Plasma Therapies: Effective COVID-19 Treatments?” (p.26) highlights some of the more notable research in progress.  

Hyperimmune globulin therapies show considerable potential, as Keith Berman, MPH, MBA, a blood product expert, points out in his article “The Promise of COVID-19 Hyperimmune Globulin Therapy” (p.46). According to Berman, the impetus behind the development of this therapy is to create postexposure prophylaxis for patients, especially those more susceptible for lethal risk. Administering a hyperimmune globulin can protect individuals during the known 14-day lapse between infection and seroconversion, as has been shown to be effective against other diseases. 

The overarching question remains, however, beyond a transformation in business practices and the development of effective therapies: What will this pandemic have taught us? Is there a reason the U.S. was so woefully unprepared for this pandemic, and what can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future? Our article “Pandemic Preparedness: Ensuring the U.S. Is Ready for the Next One?” (p.32) details how, despite the numerous pandemic preparedness plans created by health organizations, bureaucracy interference obstructed their effectiveness. We must do better.

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of BioSupply Trends Quarterly, and find it both relevant and helpful to your practice. 

Helping Healthcare Care,

Patrick M. Schmidt

Publisher

Patrick M. Schmidt
Patrick M. Schmidt is the publisher of BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine.